Maria Weston Chapman begins the letter by writing: "A great battle has just been fought--as many as always will be called--100,000 men engaged on eached side. 8000 killed on our side & double the number on the side of the rebels. We are left in possession of the field, but the Enemy is being heavily reinforced as also are we." Chapman came to New York with Warren [Weston] and his family and to Bedford with Henry [G. Chapman]. Chapman "Arrived in season for a party of mingled Bedfordites & N. Yorkers." She tells about the bright sayings of little Henry Chapman. Chapman writes that "[John Charles] Fremont spoke in Boston last week, & said it [abolition] must be done immediately." There is no difficulty here about getting men or means for carrying on a war. Chapman judges from what she has heard that "Wendell [Phillips] has had an escape for seeming to discourage enlistment. But he can no other for he judges by the feelings of individuals, & not be the necessity of the situation. I see that we are fighting the slave power: & I cannot help morally speaking, encouraging enlistments." She elaborates on this idea. Chapman mentions as signs of the times in her own experience the $5000 in bills crowded into her handbag, "Henry to carry up to Bedford to pay off troop's bounty with." And seeing the diamonds he had bought as an investment, to be sent to Europe in payments because of the unfavorable exchange. Chapman says that "I observe that England has neither broken the Blockade nor acknowledged the Rebel independence." Chapman criticizes Victor Hugo's "[L'Idylle] Rue Plumet."
The battle referred to in this letter was the Seven Days' Battle in the Peninsular Campaign of the Civil War, June 25 - July 1, 1862